Report by Shoaib Shahid:
Alas, that time of year has arrived when the nights are steadily getting longer and budding cricketers; still hungry to exploit the few weeks of warm weather that the UK provides us, turn to the controversial pink ball and the slightly less controversial 15 8-ball overs system!
Remnants took to the field two men short courtesy of Shoaib and Joe, who typically blamed work for their inability to keep time . . . while Robin Eddington (2/17 off 2 overs) took the new ball and immediately took advantage of the swing on offer, beating the outside edge on multiple occasions, which preceded several "oooh"s and "aaaah"s from the surrounding fielders. A cleverly positioned fly second slip accounted for a Tektronix opener in the first over and a well flighted ball from Alec Armstrong (1/32 off 2 overs), coupled with some efficient work behind the stumps by Rob Harvey, did for the other opener.
Reeling from the handy work from the openers, Ben Carroll (1/14 off 3 overs) was handed the ball and immediately instilled fear into the Tektronix players as he marked out his run up. His bowling was even more fearsome than his run up and he had the batsman up on their toes trying to negotiate his thunderbolts. By this time, Joe White (2/20 off 3 overs) had arrived and annoyed by the fact that someone had a longer run up than him, gave us all a fine display and justification of why he still calls himself a "fast bowler". Repeatedly bowling good balls in probing areas he was unlucky not to pick up a wicket in his first two overs, however hard work always pays off eventually and he picked up two genuine wickets to further his claim as the premier fast bowler in the side.
A remarkable inswinger to bowl their number six through the gate should have been the pick of the wickets for Joe but alas after a series of congratulations and high-fives all round, Faruk attempted to reaffirm the wicket-taking delivery with the man of the moment . . . breaking the ultimate rule in the fast bolwer's code, Joe claimed it was "accidental" and hence saw himself demoted to the rank of "fast-ish bowler". I'm sure he'll have a few chances to reclaim the honor in the coming weeks!
The spinners were then handed the task of wrapping up the end of the innings but with their two retirees at the crease it seemed as if it would be a difficult task. The bowlers however though differently with Faruk Kara (2/28 off 3 overs) and John Moore (0/22 off 2 overs) chipping away effectively. Faruk with the responsibility of bowling the last over, held remarkable composure when faced with their two best batsman, delivering an over that included no boundaries and could have had one of the batsman out three times in just two balls. I'll let your minds think up the possibilities for that one . . .
Our batting wobbled up front with two wickets in the first over but the bowling heroes also shone with the bat, with both Ben and Robin (26*) and Ben (25*) retiring not out. Their ability to rotate strike on the good balls and smash the bad ones is what really stood out in both of their innings and they were probably very disappointed to have to return back to the hut after getting set!
Shoaib Shahid (24) ticked over to keep the Remnants in contention. Enter Captain Julius "Afridi" Rix who was primed to take the game away from the opposition, smashed a long hop to the boundary as the (fictional) crowd cheered with excitement . . . The English answer to Afridi had announced himself to the crease in spectacular fashion. Unfortunately for Julius, the title of "Afridi" also brought with it an even more typical next ball dismissal.
After competing furiously for the top fast bowler's spot, Joe had now been forced to compete for top all-rounder spot too! He made a valiant 22 not out, but alas their target was just out of reach and a strangely aggressive match came to an end with Remnants losing by 14 runs.